Juvenile Court Hancock County

The Grand Program

 In Hancock County, many children are being raised by grandparents or other relatives.  That is why Hancock County Juvenile Court started the Grand Program with the assistance of the Hancock County Commissioners.  If you know a grandparent or other relative who is caring for children in this situation and they have questions about financial assistance, counseling, or frankly any other questions - call Hancock County Juvenile Court at (419) 424-7066 and speak with Kathy Elliott, Grand Program Coordinator.


Kristen K. Johnson

 Hancock County Probate and Juvenile Court Judge

Kristen Johnson was sworn in as the Judge in Hancock County Probate and Juvenile Court on February 9, 2015. She served as Magistrate for the court since April 2010.  Prior to that, she was employed as an Assistant Prosecutor with Hancock County for approximately seventeen (17) years.  She graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1988 and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo in 1993.  Kristen was appointed to the Governor’s Council on Juvenile Justice in 2012.  She is the Founder and Past President of Hancock County Center for Safe and Healthy Children, has served on the boards of the Hancock Christian Clearing House, Hancock Youth Leadership and Ohio Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. Kristen is a graduate of the JoAnne Davidson Leadership Institute in 2012.  She received the CASA Community Light of Hope Award in 2006 and 2009.  Kristen has served as a Guardian ad Litem for children and currently trains others to be GAL’s through the Supreme Court of Ohio.  Kristen is married to her husband Phil and they have four children.  
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David A. Land

Hancock County Probate and Juvenile Court Magistrate

 David Land was appointed the Magistrate in the Hancock County Probate and Juvenile Court on January 5, 2015.  Prior to that, he was employed as a Prosecutor in Defiance County for approximately twenty-four (24) years.   He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985 and received his Juris Doctor from the Ohio Northern University in 1989.  He is one of the founding members of the Domestic Violence Task Force in Defiance, Ohio.  David is married to his wife Cindy and they have three children.

Office Information

Office Hours are 8:00 am - 4:30 pm - Monday - Friday (Except Legal Holidays)
Email Address: juvenile@co.hancock.oh.us
Phone Number 419-424-7066
Fax Number 419-424-7898
Bicentennial Juvenile Court

Description & Jurisdiction of Juvenile Court?

The courts of common pleas, the only trial courts created by the Ohio Constitution, are established by Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution. The jurisdiction of courts of common pleas is outlined in Article IV, Seciton 4.

There is a court of common pleas in each of Ohio's 88 counties. Courts of common pleas have original jurisdiction in all felony cases and all civil cases in which the amount in controversy exceeds $500. Most courts of common pleas have specialized divisions created by statute to decide cases involving juveniles, probate matters, and domestic relations matters. Hancock County is one of 71 courts in Ohio that has both probate and juvenile jurisdiction.

Juvenile Divisions hear cases involving persons under 18 years of age, and cases dealing with unruly, abused, dependent, and neglected children. They also have jurisdiction in adult cases involving paternity, child abuse, nonsupport, visitation, custody, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Common Pleas judges are elected in odd-numbered years to six-year terms on a nonpartisan ballot. A person must be an attorney with at least six years of experience in the practice of law to be elected or appointed as a common pleas judge. The Governor makes appointments to fill vacancies in courts of common pleas that occur between elections.